Hiker killed at Kaaterskill Falls

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Hiker killed at Kaaterskill Falls

New postby dave » Wed Jul 27, 2016 7:41 pm

Sometime between 8:30 and 9:00 AM on Wednesday, July 27, 2016, Ezra Kennedy, age 17, from Westfield New Jersey fell off the 64' lower section of Kaaterskill Falls. A call was made to 911 just before 9 AM. After falling he was unconscious, but still breathing. But, later he stopped breathing and didn't have a pulse. First Responders performed CPR, but were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at Kaaterskill Falls where he fell.

Ezra was hiking with family and friends from Rt 23a to the base of Kaaterskill Falls. Ezra decided that he would climb the steps to the middle basin, and pose at the edge of the second tier of Kaaterskill Falls so that his friends at the base could get a good picture of him. Unfortunately, the wet rock on most waterfalls of the Catskill Mountains have algae on the rocks, and it is very slippery. He fell off the 64' waterfalls to the base of Kaaterskill Falls.


For more information about Kaaterskill Falls: http://www.catskillmountaineer.com/WF-LC-KF.html

Waterfall Safety Guide: http://www.catskillmountaineer.com/WF-safety.html

The following government agencies are know to us to have responded to the accident:
Twin Clove Rope Rescue Team
Greene County Paramedics
NYS DEC Rangers
Tannersville Fire Dept
New York State Police
Town of Hunter Police
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Re: Hiker killed at Kaaterskill Falls

New postby mtnclimber » Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:15 pm

I think they opened the stairs from the base to the top last week. That would include the new trail into the basin. Somehow I knew that the stairs and the basin trail was increase people into a dangerous place. Sad this this young man lost his life.
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Re: Hiker killed at Kaaterskill Falls

New postby mike » Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:54 pm

Sadly, I am not really surprised by this. The primary reason that new work at Kaaterskill Falls was to attract more visitors. Safety was secondary. When we proposed something different that would really help reduce deaths and solve real problems in the Kaaterskill clove, politicians and local officials said that hikers are not capable of knowing how to fix it. Hikers were ignored, and politicians got their way. So...a week after it opens back up again, we get our first death. Sadly, there will be many more deaths to come. Kaaterskill Falls is the deadliest waterfall in the world. This title will not be going away any time soon.

Very sorry for this young man's unfortunate accident. Providing an official trail into the middle basin was a bad idea. The middle basin doesn't appear to be dangerous, but, it is very dangerous. Especially, if the water is flowing.
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Re: Hiker killed at Kaaterskill Falls

New postby dundee » Mon Aug 01, 2016 6:27 am

It it very sad to see another person lose their life, but I could see this coming. Bigger parking lots, stone stairways, viewing platforms all will attract more people. More people = more accidents. And a stairway leading to a very dangerous area? Not much thinking going on here.
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Re: Hiker killed at Kaaterskill Falls

New postby bikenhike » Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:39 pm

More people = more accident

Oh yeah!

I think that Catskill Mountaineer recommended that they put the parking lot at the bottom of the clove (old rt 23a - rip van winkle trail), and make people hike all the way up. That way they would be tired, and less likely to explore. They also recommended that they put a new trail from the lower PA (on rt 23a) to the top and bottom. No access to the middle basin. This would have opened up access to other waterfalls. Would have solved all the problems.

Instead they made the hike shorter and easier. This will increase the number of visitors, and more deaths. Also people are not tired and explore.

I guess this is what happens when you let politicians build hiking trails.
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Re: Hiker killed at Kaaterskill Falls

New postby Jon » Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:50 am

Sad to see this happen all of the time. I don't believe that finger pointing is the best course of action to solve problems like these. Ultimately, when venturing into the forest personal safety is your own responsibility. Hopefully someone comes up with a reasonable solution to prevent more people from getting hurt or killed like this that doesn't include limiting access to the waterfall.
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Re: Hiker killed at Kaaterskill Falls

New postby mtnclimber » Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:18 pm

If I remember, the plan was done by the Greene County Tourism, and then dumped into the DEC's lap?
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